BT rules out job cuts in India

NEW DELHI, INDIA: British Telecom is excited about Indian market opportunity and is targeting twenty percent of networked IT market in India, which BT expect to be around 24 billion Euro in 2010-11.

The company has also ruled out any lay offs in India in response to the global slow down and expects to continue its positive momentum in the country. British Telecom had recently announced that it would cut 10,000 jobs by March 2009, following an 11 per cent dip in its profit after tax for the first half of the current financial year.

The company had laid off 4000 employees directly recruited by BT and remaining 6000 which were on the job rolls of contractors, consultants and agency staff working for BT.

Speaking to CIOL, Allen Ma, President, BT Asia Pacific, said British Telecom is excited about Indian market opportunity and  expects to continue its positive momentum in the country. Continue reading

“Recession is an opportunity”

Recession rather than a threat, should be seen as blessing in disguise by CIO’s as it is forcing them to have a re-look at their existing IT infrastructure and fine tune it to streamline processes, improve productivity and reduce costs

Idhries Ahmad

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Current uncertain times are putting extreme pressures on CIO’s across verticals to make sure IT investments already made or planned are optimised to the hilt.

Making every dollar count, puts onus on CIO to go for prudent IT infrastructure restructuring and re- tuning it to help company save costs and ride over the tough times.

Allen Ma
, President, BT Asia Pacific, feels, recession rather than a threat, should be seen as blessing in disguise by CIO’s as it is forcing them to have a re-look at their existing IT infrastructure and how they can fine tune it to streamline processes, improve productivity and help their enterprises reduce costs.

Allen Ma, BT President, Asia Pac “Lot of MNCs today are facing challenges in terms of cost cutting which is forcing these companies to go to basics and relook at the the call structure, the cost base etc and ask themselves where they can reduce the cost. This is a financial storm and enterprise are making it sure that as to why and how they are growing the business.

“We believe that based on what we have picked up from our customers in last two months is that we are even in a better position to help them grow,” says Allen.

“I see this as an opportunity rather than doom. Of course there are lots of new challenges but it us about how to help customers go through the current challenges and become even more stronger when the storm is behind us,” adds Allen.
Continue reading

BSNL to roll out 3G services by next month

Roll out to start with North East

Idhries Ahmad

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will be rolling out 3G services by the end of first month of next year. The incumbent will be initially rolling out commercial 3G services in the North East region following which the company will roll the services in phases in other parts of country.

“We are targeting end of next month as date for roll out of 3G services in the country. We have completed the testing of our networks and are ready for roll out of 3G services in North East”, said Kuldeep Goyal, CMD, BSNL.

However, Goyal didn’t confirm which cities in North East will see the first roll out of 3G services. Goyal added BSNL will be rolling out 3G services in other cities in the country in phased manner starting next month.

Ruling out the impact of slow down on the process of evaluation of BSNL tenders for 3G services, Goyal said time was being consumed in evaluating the tenders and wasn’t stalled because of recession. Continue reading

NGN voice networks to touch $498 mn by 2012

By 2012, market research firm, iLocus, projects 18.9 million Class 4 and 17.6 million Class 5 NGN lines to be deployed in carrier networks in India

Idhries Ahmad

NEW DELHI, INDIA: India will be one of the leading Nextgen voice markets across the globe in the next few years. Carriers in the country have already drawn up plans for deployment of more than 14.9 million Class 4 Next Generation (NGN) ports and over 4.1 million Class 5 NGN lines.

These are findings of a report ‘Carrier Nextgen Voice Networks in India’ published by leading market research firm, iLocus. The report adds that an estimated volume of 1.23 million Class 4 softswitch and gateway ports have already been deployed for commercial use by carriers in India.

By 2012, iLocus, projects 18.9 million Class 4 and 17.6 million Class 5 NGN lines to be deployed in carrier networks in India on a cumulative basis, which translates into a revenue opportunity to the tune of $498 million between now and the year 2012. Continue reading

Loop Telecom to finalise vendors by Dec 15d

Floats RFP, will roll services by 2009

Idhries Ahmad/Prasoon Shirvastava

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Mumbai-based Loop Telecom, a fully-owned subsidiary of BPL Mobile, will be finalising its vendors for its 2G rollout, by 15th of December. Sources close to company told CIOL that company has floated RFP for its IT and networks.

The company, sources add, will also be rolling out 2G services in eight circles by 2009.

Loop telecom currently operates GSM mobile services in Mumbai. Loop Telecom is one of the seven operators to receive a licence for Pan-Indian mobile operations in 21 circles and has received start-up spectrum in six circles Continue reading

dx3 opens Europe for us: CEO IMImobile

Company also gets access to labels like MTV, Sony Ericsson, Trinity, Virgin, and Universal among other

Idhries Ahmad

NEW DELHI, INDIA: The acquisition of UK digital content delivery provider, dx3, says Vishwanath Alluri, CEO IMImobile, is important strategic move for company as it not only opens door for company in Europe but also gives it access to slew of customers like Sony BMG, Universal, EMI and Warner Music.

In an exclusive interaction with CIOL, the founder of MVAS player, IMImobile, said the acquisition of dx3, will combine IMI’s experience in the mobile sector, with dx3′s expertise in the web domain.

“dx3 acquisition gives company a strong headway in European markets starting withEngland and Irish markets. This relationship also gives us access to tap top labels in music industry”

“Europe was missing in our portfolio as we already are present in major grographies be it India, Middle East, or Americas and Africa.” Continue reading

Special: A chequered history for VoIP in India

Analysts have blamed DoT for killing the VoIP industry in India and are now very unsure whether the technology will now make any sort of progress in the country

Idhries Ahmad

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Internet telephony industry in India after years of suffocating strangulations looks to make a new beginning in the country.

The recent TRAI recommendations, which makes case for allowing Internet telephony on PSTN networks opens doors for industry, which analysts say will boost technological convergence, push competition and will drastically reduces voice tariffs in the country.

History of Strangulations
VoIP in India: History of Strangulations

However the recommendations which allow ISPs to provide unrestricted Internet telephony (termination of Internet telephony calls on PSTN/PLMN and vice-versa) within the existing IUC regime is subject to DoT clearance.

The recommendations have been received with cheer from the majority of ISP for whom it is sign of hope after years of unnecessary state interventions.

TRAI has now permitted National Long Distance (NLD) operators to connect to ISPs through public Internet (Internet cloud) for unrestricted Internet telephony, on condition of mutual agreement between the ISPs and NLD operators for unrestricted Internet telephony.

Explaining the rationale behind recommending the removal of restrictions on Internet telephony, TRAI said the regulatory framework denied technological advancements to the common people. Level playing field issues were advocated against permitting these services under various licenses.

Too Little Too late

World over VoIP is now become as an essential part and parcel of telecom industry. However DoT has for some reasons has been extremely skeptical to allow the VoIP industry in the country.
Continue reading

Special: 3G in India: Slow off the blocks, but sure to catch up

If DoT get its act together and clears the spectrum from ministry of defence, the 3G rollout in the country wont be a distant possibility and Indian consumers may finally be exposed to the value 3G services offers

Idhries Ahmad

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Excruciating wait. A wait that seems to linger on for ever.Caught in the politics of procrastination for too long now, the telecom industry in India surely heaved a welcome sigh of relief when A. Raja, Union Minister for Communications and IT, paved the way for 3G rollout in country policy by unveiling the much awaited and hyped 3G policy in the country.

3G in India...Slow but steady

3G in India...Slow but steady

However, with Department of Telecom professing its inability to vacate the spectrum from Defense Ministry in nine circles including Delhi, the much-awaited auction of 3G spectrum may hit yet another roadblock.

A paper by DoT to be presented to the Defence ministry points out 30 Mhz spectrum required for nine service areas is not available.Couple it with the recession factor that has forced major telecom player like Vodafone to request DoT to defer auctioning for few months, the roll out of 3G services in the country may still have to wait few more months if not another few quarters.

Fortunately, other major telecom players are ironing their strategies to outbid each other in spectrum auctioning (to completed by January end) and chalk out plans with vendors to roll out the 3g rollout in the country.

The recession bug, analysts, feel wont hit the telecom industry very hard and it is expected most of them will be participating in the auctioning exercise.

Continue reading

Why 3G make great sense for rural market

3G can find potential use in facilitating initiatives such as e-governance, education and tele medicine. Given India’s booming mobile market and extensive network coverage, mobile broadband could be the answer to taking the e-revolution to the last mile

Idhries Ahmad

NEW DELHI, INDIA: The euphoria around 3 G spectrum allocation refuses to die down. The excitement from telecom vendors is understandable for they don’t need a second invitation to roll out their latest range of products, but when service providers get excited about a particular technology, the technology has to be taken seriously.

Globally, 3G is fast becoming the accepted technology platform across geographies. While in Japan, 3G has been available since 2001, today the technology is serving 25 across Asia, Europe and USA.

According to the “3G Market Forecast to 2010,” by Research and markets, an international market research agency, there were a total of 614 Million 3G subscribers globally at the end of 2007 and the number was forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 34% in near future.

According Strategy Analytics, June 2008, the share of 3G subscribers in India is expected to be 9.3% of the overall subscriber base by 2010.

What is 3G

3G stands for the third generation of mobile phone standards and technology. The technology allows network operators to offer its subscribers a range of advanced services and also achieve better network capacity. Services include wide-area wireless voice telephony, video calls and broadband wireless data, all in a mobile environment.

Continue reading

DoT has destroyed VoIP in India

By rendering VoIP impotent and a silent spectator, DoT has denied an Indian consumer a ubiquitous network/platform needed for new productive applications

Idhries Ahmad

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Internet telephony industry in India after years of suffocating strangulations looks to make a new strong beginning in the country. 

The recent TRAI recommendations, which makes case for allowing Internet telephony on PSTN networks opens doors for industry, which analysts say will boost technological convergence, push competition and will drastically reduces voice tariffs in the country. 

CIOL in a series of articles will be talking to leading analysts and market players in the industry to understand what the guidelines of mean for the growth of internet telephony in the country. 

In the first part of series, CIOL, caught up with Jahangir Raina, CEO and director of research at iLocus (www.ilocus.com), a VoIP industry analyst group. 

Read More on  DoT has destroyed VoIP in India